Yesterday, President Trump announced his request for the SBA to expand funding with an additional $50 billion in small business loans. Congress still has to approve this request, which will take time, but they just got one step closer.
The Senate has canceled a planned recess for next week, planning instead to work to pass a response plan for COVID-19. In a statement, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell explained the move.
“Notwithstanding the scheduled state work period, the Senate will be in session next week,” he said in a tweet. The Senate is currently waiting on the House of Representatives to come to an agreement on a response plan.
“I am glad talks are ongoing between the administration and Speaker Pelosi. I hope Congress can pass bipartisan legislation to continue combating the coronavirus and keep our economy strong,” McConnell explained in his tweet.
Before additional SBA funding can be approved, House Republicans and Democrats will have to reach an agreement. According to CNBC, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been in close conversation with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, speaking 4 times over the course of the day.
House Democrats had submitted a plan before President Trump’s remarks that didn’t account for many of his surprise announcements—like cuts to payroll taxes and the expansion of SBA loan funding.
The negotiations follow Trump’s address to the nation Wednesday night. “I’m asking Congress to increase funding for this program by an additional $50 billion,” he stated. “The SBA will begin providing economic loans in affected states and territories. These low-interest loans will help small businesses overcome temporary economic disruptions caused by the virus.”